Dwyer, John Henry
Age: 25, credited to Richford, VTVITALS
Birth: 10/23/1837, Westford, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Glenwood Cemetery, Glenwood, IA
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
John H. Dwyer
I was born near Burlington, Vt., October 23rd, 1837, but was raised in Richford, Franklin County, where I enlisted. I had no fighting ancestors that I know of - though I have seen some of them mad enough to fight, so I consider my patriotism was not inherited. Our company's letter was G, and we rendezvoused at Bakersfield for a short time before going to Brattleboro where we were mustered into United States service. I value my army experience very highly, though short. It enabled me to understand many things about war and to realize what our martyred Lincoln meant when he said he had a big job on his hands. Forty-four long years have slipped away since those days and many of the comrades have answered to the last roll call, but the memory of those marches and counter marches, the Sunday reviews, are all fresh in our memory and the big run-away, when our Colonel slipped away from Colonel Blunt of the 12th Regiment and we came back to our old camp only to find it ruined. We were consoled by the thought that it was all necessary to put down Rebellion.
After we left Brattleboro nothing of special note occurred while in transit to Washington. I recall the very cordial greeting we received at Philadelphia, Pa. It was Sabbath afternoon when we reached the city and the crowd that greeted us was immense, the majority were of the fair sex. The train was delayed there for a short time and the boys passed the time by visiting with the girls and it is said that there were friendships formed there that resulted in marriage. We arrived at Washington a tired lot and I never enjoyed a better night's rest than that night with my knapsack for a pillow and the soft floor of the depot for a bed. We finally settled at camp Vermont on the Potomac River. While at this camp we visited Mount Vernon quite often. As I was returning one day from one of these visits we called on a doctor's family there were two nice appearing young ladies at home. They said their father was in Capitol prison because he would not take the oath of allegiance. Also they had four brothers in the Confederate army and they (through girls) wished they had five.
I contracted typhoid fever while at camp Vermont, which came near terminating fatally - from which I did not fully recover until I reached home. I shall never forget the kindness of Surgeon Nichols, also of our Lieutenant Clarke while on the Gettysburg march. I fell out one day and the Provost Guard picked me up and reported me to Surgeon Nichols who came riding back and insisted that I ride his horse while he walked, and Lieutenant Clarke would always have me ride his horse. The Major was taking a fine horse through for Lieutenant Clarke - when the Major would send it back for Lieutenant to ride. I was mustered out at Brattleboro, Vt., July 21st, 1863, and the next year I was married and came to Iowa where I now live in the town of Glenwood. I have four children living, two girls and two boys. One of the girls has settled in Washington. One of the boys is teaching in Robert College, Constantinople, Turkey, and the other boy and girl are living at home with us. My wife's maiden name was Amanda Grant; the children are Lotta B., Gertie E., Ione E., and Oliver M. The Lord has been very good to us.
P.S. - In reply to your letter I may say my occupation before and since the war has been farming. As to civil office I have been very fortunate and have escaped thus far, except some township office such as clerk. As to my religious life, I experienced a change of heart just before the war broke out and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and have been a member ever since. The Saviour is precious to me. I find him to be a complete Saviour.
John H. Dwyer
In his very interesting and exhaustive sketch, to which I refer the reader, John in his modesty failed to tell us that he was one of the most efficient orderly sergeants of the regiment. The boys all loved him and were glad to serve under him. They have the most pleasant memories of him. At roll call how he would rattle off the names, often from memory, till many in the company could repeat them. He was a hail fellow, pleasant, good natured, honest as a deacon - ready for fun or a fight, if the enemy were rebels. His many virtues as a soldier have evidently served him well since the war.
Webmaster's note: Gloria Reiss, John's 2nd great granddaughter, says his wife Amanda Eaton Grant was a cousin of General U.S. Grant.